Friday, March 31, 2006

Editorial of the day

What I said about culture yesterday was brought back to me today by Clarence Page's editorial "Weapons of 'Mass Self-Destruction'".

Specifically, Page talks about the issue of "hip-hop culture" among black youth, and how he disagrees with people who blame that for the problems of crime and unemployment among black youth.

I could not agree more. As I stated yesterday, individuals determine the culture. While it may be rare to see individuals reject the culture with which they grow up, that usually has more to do with limited/poor education and/or limited exposure to other cultures. If you never see other possibilities, how could you objectively look at what you know?

On the issue of hip-hop culture, let us take the chicken-or-the-egg approach to it. Which came first: hip-hop culture, or high rates of crime and unemployment among black youth? The high rates of crime and unemployment have been with us for many decades. Hip-hop culture is relatively new, going back roughly 10-20 years.

The problems came first. Hip-hop culture is just a new expression of black youth's discontent.

Page makes some good points about ways to solve the problems from the bottom-up. Page also makes one last, and very disturbing, point:
"I don't get why so many of America's children must live with the self-destructive residue not only of popular culture but also of Washington's political culture. If only they could afford lobbyists."

This is a separate issue, but no less valid. If there is a problem in the country, there better be some lobbyists working on it, otherwise Washington could care less.

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